A Simple Test of Abortion and Crime

40 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2008

See all articles by Theodore Joyce

Theodore Joyce

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)


I first replicate Donohue and Levitt's results for violent and property crime arrest rates. I apply their data and specification to an analysis of age-specific homicide rates and murder arrest rates. The coefficients on the abortion rate have the wrong sign for two of the four measures of crime and none is statistically significant at conventional levels. I then use the legalization of abortion in 1973 to exploit two sources of variation: between-state changes in abortion rates pre and post Roe, and cross-cohort differences in exposure to legalized abortion. I find no meaningful association between abortion and age-specific crime rates.

Keywords: abortion, crime

JEL Classification: K4

Suggested Citation

Joyce, Theodore J., A Simple Test of Abortion and Crime. Review of Economics and Statistics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1011168

Theodore J. Joyce (Contact Author)

CUNY Baruch College - Zicklin School of Business ( email )

17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics